Monte C Richardson
The following information was provided in response to a survey prepared by the Federal Court Practice Committee of The Florida Bar. This information is not binding on any judge or court official and may not be relied upon for precedential purposes. Further information may be found in the attachments (sample orders, etc.) referenced at the end of this Guide entry or on the court's website noted below.
Name of Court:
Middle District of Florida
Location of Chambers:
300 N. Hogan Street
Communication with Chambers
Do you permit contact with chambers regarding questions of procedure?
Do you permit contact with chambers regarding the status of pending matters?
May counsel contact chambers to speak with your law clerk(s) on procedural matters?
May counsel contact chambers to speak with your law clerk(s) on the status of pending matters?
Use of Cell Phones, Laptops, and Other Electronics in Court
Other than procedures adopted by the U.S. Marshal's Service relating to access to a federal courthouse, do you have any additional procedures to be followed for the use of cell phones, laptops, or other electronics?
Is there a designated court staff person to contact relating to the use of electronic media or other audiovisual needs?
Always verify with the Clerk of Court or the U.S. Marshal's Service as to any procedures relating to the use of cell phones or other electronic devices at the courthouse.
In addition to Local Rules or CM/ECF procedures applicable in the District:
Do you have a preferred method for counsel to correct an electronically filed document that inadvertently contains personal information (as prohibited by Fed.R.Civ.P. 5.2)?
No, check with Clerk's Office for procedure
Do you have a preferred method governing the filing of sealed documents?
No, check with Clerk's Office for procedure
Do you prefer that (non-trial) exhibits be filed as separate docket entries (instead of filing them as attachments to the document they support)?
Pretrial Detention/Pretrial Procedure (Criminal)
At bond hearings, do you permit the government to proceed by proffer or do you require a government agent to be present to testify?
Proffer by government is permitted.
If a proffer is permitted, can the defendant’s counsel call the government case agent and cross-examine him/her?
If a proffer is permitted, do you prefer that defense counsel present the family of the defendant as witnesses by proffer instead of calling individual witnesses?
What is your policy concerning nolo contendere or Alford pleas?
What is your policy as to plea agreements that involve sentencing recommendations?
11(B) Yes; 11(C) No
Pretrial Procedure (Civil)
Do you issue a standard pretrial order?
Do you conduct preliminary pretrial hearings, e.g., pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16?
If YES, what matters do you typically discuss during preliminary pretrial hearings?
Standard case management issues or any issues raised by parties
Do you have any requirements, beyond those found in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules, as to motions for extension of time or motions for continuance?
Other than as required by Local Rules, do you prefer that the moving parties submit proposed orders along with non-dispositive motions?
Do you hear preliminary injunction motions?
Should copies of published cases cited in motions and memoranda be forwarded to chambers?
Should copies of unpublished opinions cited in motions and memoranda be forwarded to chambers?
If copies of cases are submitted, do you accept copies that have portions highlighted by counsel?
Do you regularly set aside time during a given week/month for hearings on motions?
Under what circumstances do you allow telephonic hearings?
If requested or for convenience of the parties, attorneys, or court
What is your practice concerning oral arguments on referred dispositive motions?
Prefer to decide on the pleadings, but will entertain oral argument for complicated issues.
Will you entertain motions in limine prior to trial?
If YES, how far in advance should they be filed?
Set by order in each case.
Do you receive referrals on discovery matters from a District Judge?
Other than those discovery schedules contained in Local Rules, do you have special discovery deadlines or procedures for certain types of cases (ERISA, FLSA, etc.)?
If YES, what types of cases and what are the deadlines or procedures?
Special discovery procedures for FLSA, ERISA, and Social Security appeals
When a dispute arises during a deposition, is it appropriate to call your chambers (if the case has been referred for discovery) to seek an immediate ruling?
What is your preference regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation?
Mediation is strongly encouraged and I will conduct settlement conferences if requested by parties or district judge
Do you require counsel to submit a proposed order referring the case to mediation?
Do you have any special procedures for the settlement of FLSA cases?
Yes, all such settlements must be approved by the Court.
Do you automatically set consent cases for trial or do you wait for counsel to propose a time period in which a case should be scheduled for trial?
Set trial date with counsel at pretrial conference
Do you grant specially set trial dates (dates certain)?
If YES, under what circumstances will you grant trial dates certain?
In all cases where parties consent to Magistrate Jurisdiction.
Do you conduct pretrial conferences?
Do you conduct Daubert hearings prior to trial?
What, if any, procedural requirements do you have regarding the use of videotapes, trial graphics, depositions, and demonstrations?
Contact courtroom deputy at least a week before trial
Do you require trial briefs in jury trials?
Do you require trial briefs in bench trials?
If you require trial briefs, when are they due?
Set in each case
Do you permit counsel to perform voir dire?
If YES, what guidelines or restrictions must counsel follow when conducting voir dire?
Limited questions as approved by court.
If NO, can counsel submit proposed voir dire questions?
If YES, when should such questions be submitted?
Set in case management scheduling order
What are your peremptory challenge procedures?
Provided to counsel at pretrial conference
Do you impose any standard time limits on counsel's opening statements?
Can exhibits be used in opening statements?
Do you allow plaintiffs to make a rebuttal during opening statements?
Do you permit jurors to take notes?
Do you permit jurors to ask questions?
What, if any, procedures do you have concerning objections at trial?
Stand and cite the objection with the supporting rules of evidence. Don't make speaking objections unless asked. (Jury trials)
When do you require counsel to file proposed jury instructions?
Set in the case management and scheduling order
Should jury instructions also be submitted to chambers electronically?
When standard jury instructions are available, do you prefer that attorneys submit condensed versions of the standard instructions?
Do you require proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed in bench trials?
If YES, when do you require the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to be filed?
Set by order in each case
Should the proposed findings and conclusions also be submitted to chambers electronically?
What should lawyers avoid at all costs when appearing before you (other than the obvious: don't be late, do be courteous, etc.), i.e., do you have any "pet peeves"?
Do you have any other practice pointers, advice, observations, or suggestions for members of the Bar appearing before you?